Webinar Replay: WordPress SEO With Joost de Valk

We get more questions about WordPress SEO than just about anything.

Joost de Valk hung out with Andrea Warner, Leslie Rohde, Dan Thies and half-a-ton of other folks (translation: about 1,000) on Tuesday, February 28. In this webinar replay, Joost answered a whole bunch of questions — and some that weren’t even asked. Yeah…. that old “you don’t know what you don’t know” kinda thing…. Plus, he got into some “how do I do it” stuff, and a few “Oh Noes! along the way.



Download the Presentation Audio (mp3) here.
*Just Released* Transcript — Download the Audio Transcript (pdf) here
Download Joost’s presentation (pdf) here

Think you’ve never heard of Joost? Maybe it’s because you know him as “Yoast.” You know, from Yoast.com:

  • He wrote the only SEO plugin we ever use – and he gives it away for free
  • He wrote the only Google Analytics plugin we ever use – and gives it away for free
  • He has done more testing on WordPress SEO than anyone, and he shares his insights… for free

Since soooo many people tuned-in live to get a piece of the man’s brain during the live presentation, there’s a good chance your competitors were in on it. They got the inside scoop on how an SEO plugin that “doesn’t do anything” became the best SEO plugin anywhere.

You can get some of what your competitors took away from this event. Hey! don’t take a knife to a gunfight…..

Among the resources Joost mentions are:
Twitter — @yoast
Site — All Things Joost
Others –

WordPress Analytics
WordPress SEO
WordPress Extend Plugins
WordPress Smush.it
WordPress Google Libraries
SpriteMe
Pingdom Tools
Pingdom Full Page Test
Optimize Social Media Button Performance
Sitemap Details

Comments

  1. This is an awesome SEO resource guys – thanks for making it available for us all.

    It’s almost worth setting this up as an orientation seminar for every new SEO/WP employee for any agency.

  2. Michael says:

    Disappointed that Yoast engages in political commentatory when he should be talking about SEO!

    • super-user says:

      Really?
      First, it was free, no pitch and totally cutting edge.
      Second, that wasn’t “commentary”, that was “humor” and I’m pretty sure most every else go that.
      Third, maybe you should focus on the non-disappointing bits that could actually make you money.

  3. Hi, Amazing Cast!
    You talking about a long list of links to the stuf your talking about.
    Where can I find that list?

    regards
    Peter

    • super-user says:

      still collecting all the items, getting the transcription finished and scheduling the Q&A session. We’ll post things as soon as we get them and the list of links is for sure on the list.

  4. Thank You! I truly appreciated the opportunity to listen to Yoast and it is awesome to have all the download materials too.

    We ran short of time for Q&A and you folks (Dan and Leslie) made some mention of a follow-up webinar for Q&A only. Will that be occurring and, if so, how can we get on the notification list?

  5. Hi guys — great stuff thanks. One problem: I cannot download the pdf’s. They just ‘hang’.

  6. Great stuff guys, and thank you for it but I’d also like to be able to download the pdf/s any tips?

  7. awesome, i missed first 60min (cause i made a mistake, converting EST to GMT+7) :D

    i’ll download them all, especially the .mp4

    thanks a lot Joost ^^

  8. Great idea to get Joost on a webinar guys, awesome content and wisdom, super cool webinar!

  9. Hi Folks!

    Thank you so much for making this available – it’s totally amazing stuff! I’m just getting into SEO and I’m blown away.

  10. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate Joost de Walk sharing his time, detail, and keen insights — and all for free!

    I was feverishly taking notes, and then I got pulled away about 45 minutes in, so I very much appreciate you folks making all of Joost’s webinar content available here! Thank you for your time and attention to making this happen!! Woo Hoo!

    Just one question: Should I be concerned that I am so excited about accessing SEO training?
    :>)

    Thank again for your great work!

    Malcolm

  11. Thanks for sharing this, it’s good stuff. Just emailed this to my WordPress training members!

  12. Yup…the transcript pdf is just hanging using chrome browser.

  13. Hi Dan and Leslie,
    Thanks for making this available. I took some screenshots during the webinar : wpmush, sprite, pingdom in case there was no replay. If I had known I would have paid more attention..lol. But what I would like to see was how to configure the plugin properly. I’ve been using his plugin for the last 2 years, and one thing i would like to know was the configuration for the home page when he used things like %category% etc. which I did not implement. Thanks for that awesome webinar and looking for more from you guys.

  14. Thanks for having Yoast engage with us. He is definitely an icon in the SEO world.

  15. SEO is the most over hyped and misunderstood pseudoscience hawked to IM newbies. When one finally hears truth spoken from experience it’s clear as a bell.
    I daresay there’s many times more value in this package you’re giving away for free than all the money I’ve spent on hype and hysteria.
    And how fun it is to hear banter between people who can actually point out to Google what they’re screwing up. Priceless!

  16. It if very refreshing to hear from people like Joost.

    Thanks for hosting this webinar and looking forward for seeing more!

  17. Thanks for making this available, and specially with a transcript!

  18. Really awesome webinar! I hope more like this is to come from you guys.

  19. Thanks so much for this webinar and the Spriteme tip. I absolutely love it!

  20. Great content…thanks for this!

  21. Very useful. The Yoast guy knows his stuff !

  22. I’ve used All In One SEO plugin for years…would it hurt my rankings in any way to suddenly switch to the Yoast SEO plugin? I guess what I’m asking is if I disable All In One and activate Yoast, what happens to the posts that I configured using All In One?

  23. Disregard my previous question…it was answered in the webinar. I just got too excited and didn’t get to that part yet.

  24. I thought I was providing great advise when I told my client he would benefit from using a CDN as per Joost’s recommendation. Turns out its just created a nightmare for me.

    Coincidentally the client installed the CDN on his WP blog and then the next day organic traffic dropped 20% and is getting worse by the day. Why has this happened? Has the client installed the CDN incorrectly? Apparently not according to MaxCDN.

    • No idea, but I before jumping to too many conclusions I would want to make sure the reporting is correct. Depending on how “traffic” is measured, maybe what you are seeing is the good news of having moved accesses off the client’s site and onto the CDN. The real question did uniques to the clients’ pages drop? Serving content from a CDN should have nothing to do with that.

  25. Great webinar! I have a question based on what I saw and the Rapid Ranking video.

    I currently have a established website running the Thesis framework, but I know Genesis was recommended. I would like to add a blog to it as the site is rather static. I would like to avoid migrating the existing site to Genesis completely because of the headache and cost, but would prefer to use Genesis for the blog I am adding. I have two questions:

    1) Is there a reason why I shouldn’t place my blog into its own folder on my server and let it’s run on it’s own install of WordPress as opposed to being a blog page on my existing site? The layout I have for my existing site is wildly different from what I would want for the blog, so that may be easier but I don’t know if there would be an SEO impact that would reduce the effectiveness of the blog addition or somehow conflict with the existing site ranking.

    2) If the answer to question one is that it’s okay to run the blog and static site from two separate WordPress installs, would there be any reason not to use Genesis on the blog install and Thesis framework on the other?

    Thanks so much!

    • Thanks Rich – we’re getting ready to move from Thesis to Genesis ourselves here, just doing the work on our members’ site first before fixing the public site.

      1) It doesn’t really matter what the underlying technical infrastructure is – search engines only see the web pages that you publish and how you link them together. WordPress, folder, whatever, not important.

      2) Yes, it’s okay to do that, and the choice of theme/framework should be based on what you need each “site” to do. Certainly easier to settle on one and learn how to accomplish what you want with it, than to keep up with changes and updates for two frameworks.

      • Thanks for the reply. I decided to stick with one theme instead of worrying about twice the updates and whatnot. Better long term choice I think.

  26. Hi, thought I might attempt to get some help here. I have a few problems after trying to implement some of the suggestions on this video. I very much appreciate the help but it looks like I got in over my head and could have broke something.

    I have two sites that are essentially out of the Google rankings in one day:

    http://orlandoplantsandtrees.com

    http://floridabraininjurylaw.com

    Both were doing quite well for the main keywords in the year or so I have been building them.

    I don’t think it is coincidental that I installed the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin on both of these sites about two weeks ago. Shortly after importing all the content from All-in-One, I noticed the name of the site was appended to all the title tags. So, as it says to do in Yoast, I went in and changed the title tag header line to:

    At the same time, I also upgraded WordPress to version 3.3.1, added “W3 Total Cache” plugin and “Use Google Libraries”

    I also did all the same things to http://miamiplantsandtrees.com. However, the site name was not getting appended to the title tag so I took no action on the title tag issue. The rankings for this site have not been affected.

    Can you please give me any advice.

    Thank you.

  27. Pat Hogan says:

    Hi guys and Andrea, just in case you are all working on the analysis for a solution to the problem I entered this morning, thought I’d tell you all my sites came back. I figured I would give you the full questions I submitted to SEOMoz just in case this is information that could benefit you. It was (hopefully correctly using past tense) very bizzare. Don’t worry about getting back with me. Good Night.

    Hello, I have two sites that are essentially out of the Google rankings in one day:

    http://orlandoplantsandtrees.com

    http://floridabraininjurylaw.com

    Both were doing quite well for the main keywords in the year or so I have been building them.

    I don’t think it is coincidental that I installed the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin on both of these sites about two weeks ago. Shortly after importing all the content from All-in-One, I noticed the name of the site was appended to all the title tags. So, as it says to do in Yoast, I went in and changed the title tag header line to:

    At the same time, I also upgraded WordPress to version 3.3.1, added “W3 Total Cache” plugin and “Use Google Libraries”

    I also did all the same things to http://miamiplantsandtrees.com. However, the site name was not getting appended to the title tag so I took no action on the title tag issue. The rankings for this site have not been affected.

    This is an update, I have also realized that many other sites on this hosting provider (hostgator) were affected, organic results are decimated except for when the Google Place page is involved:

    heckerconstruction.com

    allstatetreeserviceinc.com

    accountingbradenton.com

    allarearoofingftpierce.com

    tampasolarscreens.com

    And these on the same hosting account seem untouched by the changes:

    allarearoofing.com

    superiorelectrictampa.com

    Is it possible someone hacked into my account and harmed my sites? I have been working with overseas developer with access to my cpanel, maybe they did something either on purpose or by accident. Can you please give me any advice.

    Thank you.

    UPDATED INFO: ALL RANKINGS CAME BACK AROUND 7:00. I AM HAPPY TO USE MY QUESTION STILL TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU THINK HAPPENED. IT LOOKS LIKE A FEW OTHER PUBLIC QUESTIONS SURFACE REGARDING THE SAME ISSUE THIS MORNING.

  28. If I may I’d like to ask one more question. In the video there’s a discussion of categories and tags and how they should be used generally speaking. Basically what I took away is that it should be a pyramid type structure with categories being the main nav headings and tags being more granular nav within the categories, which makes sense, like chapters in a book and then the index.

    I want to provide both a good user experience and do what is intelligent for SEO, and I am having a difficult time fully understanding what I should permit to be indexed when it comes to categories and tags. It seems that I should only permit one or the other to be indexed. So I need to choose if I want search engines to see my categories and ignore my tags or the reverse.

    I had intended to structure my site so my categories are my major topics (and most important keywords) and my tags my subtopics within those major keywords (and also keywords of lesser importance but valued keywords nonetheless).

    If my understanding is correct and I should only allow indexation of categories, then there is no benefit to my using keyword rich tags or even tags at all unless it improves user experience. Is that understanding correct? Of course I understand that user experience should be the first consideration, but if a naming convention of tags could be done in a way that is also keyword rich, I would opt to do that and possibly create more tags. If it is for user experience only then I don’t need to consider those impacts or even use tags at all if I don’t want to.

    Which brings up a larger question I’m not understanding. I believe the reason for the concern in the first place is duplication of content across various categories, tags, and other structural ways of viewing the info. For instance, if my site is about buying cars, I would want a category of “Ford” as a major heading and a tag of “Mustang” to further subdivide that content. We want to not index one of those two classifications so the same post isn’t indexed as both newcarsite.com/ford/post as well as newcarsite/mustang/post.
    I believe this is the same reason we don’t to allow indexation of date archives so we don’t have multiple paths and url’s to the same post crawable.

    However, continuing the above example, what if we also want a Category of “Sports Cars” and would want to place that post about Mustangs in BOTH the “Ford” AND the “Sports Cars” categories so the user could find it using either way by drilling down into the site? Would not the same problem still arise since we are opening up categories to indexation? We would still have newcarsite/ford/post AND newcarsite/sportscars/post both leading to the exact same content.

    So can I not classify a post in multiple categories? The same would apply to tags, possibly even more easily since a post generally has quite a few tags associated with it.

    I must be misunderstanding something, if you could shed some additional light I’d appreciate it because this duplication stuff seems increasingly important lately. I apologize for the length of the question but I wanted to ensure I was being clear.

    • You can put a post in multiple categories, Rich. You end up with multiple paths to the same page, which also happens with tags. The user design in your case makes sense with the way you’ve got it broken out.

      I’d be working to avoid duplication of posts on archive/category/tag pages by using Excerpts on all posts, which are displayed on the archive/category/tag pages, and can also be fed out through your RSS feed if you feel you need one. That way the posts remain unique. The Excerpt on the archive/category/tag pages works like an advertisement for the post.

      • So use a unique excerpt and keep categories and tags open to index is what you’re saying, right Dan?
        I appreciate the replies.

        • I also have the option to noindex subpages which is the default in Thesis, is that the recommendation you have as well?

        • I like to let them crawl the category & tag pages. Date archives are a little more questionable. Moderately useful for people on the site, but those pages have very little value as search results. I think Yoast’s plugin puts noindex on date archives by default.

          • It does but based on the video I don’t want to install something unsupported on Thesis and then have it break because of an update somewhere in theme or plugin so I am using Thesis SEO options.

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